Lewes castle wedding

Wedding ceremony in Lewes Castle ruins

Two weeks before, I was photographing a wedding ceremony in what was left of a castle in Denmark. This time another castle but one closer to home. Hannah and Sam’s wedding was in one of the oldest castles in the UK, Lewes castle, in Sussex. Work started on this castle, the year after the Battle of Hastings. In it’s day, it was pretty big, with two high mottes (often whitewashed so they stood out in the landscape – the domination of the Normans). Quickly throwing up motte and baileys was the way the Normans imposed their rule over the Saxons. As I write this, I am sat less than 75 metres, from the site of such a motte and bailey. But, unlike the one in Lewes, it never progressed into a formidable stone fortification. Neiher can it rival Lewes for it’s location – Lewes sits in a gap in the South Downs, above the river Ouse, that was once navigable to this point. The fourteenth century Barbican, that would overlook the drinks reception, in the Gun garden, was built against attacks from France, heading in from the coast.

Getting ready, down the road

Hannah got ready, with family and friends, a short walk from the castle – just down the High Street in Lewes. No.133 – a characterful, period house for rent. A short walk for the bridesmaids, but Hannah and her father had a MkII Jag to arrive in – with it’s roar. The wedding ceremony is held within the Shell Keep, under the ruins of the West Tower. A series of zig zag steps take you up, to a great view of the town and the surrounding countryside. On a sunny September, at 1.30, the light was interesting….

The ceremony concluded – a punch in the air from Sam – back down the aisle for the confetti and then back down the steps, to drinks in the Gun Garden (what I guess was once part of the moat?). Easier than carrying the drinks up I guess? Drinks in the autumn sunshine, before time to get in the Jag or board the buses and head north to the reception proper. The village hall at High Hurstwood – just north of Uckfield. Bunting, biscuits with Southampton football strips and an impressive cake, made by Sam’s mum. More drinks in the sunshine, before into the hall for speeches and some very nice food, by a local caterer.

A few beers later and after the sun had dipped behind the horizon, some ‘football’ in the gloom, as the band setup on the stage. Then, cake cut, Hannah and Sam kicked off the dancing…

Here are few images from their day…

Lewes castle

Bridesmaids walk down Lewes high street

Lewes castle wedding ceremony

Lewes castle wedding ceremony arrival

Filming the wedding ceremony

Groom punches the air

Confetti run

Confetti at Lewes castle

Model of Lewes castle

Wedding drinks at Lewes castle

Wedding reception at Lewes castle

Homemade wedding cake

Wedding toasts

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